First Impression: Marin Pine Mountain 1

Marin Pine Mountain DR-4

Finally, I get my grubby mitts on a bike with them thar plus-sized tires. My portulent partner for the next few weeks is Marin’s Pine Mountain 1, sporting a pair of 27.5 x 3.0 inch Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires rolling on wide-bodied Maddux DD40 rims. Those tires and I are bound to become best buds, as they’re the only part of this fully rigid rig that remotely resembles suspension. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more …

Marin Pine Mountain DR-5

Ringing the register at $989 and tipping the scale at 30.6 pounds (size large, without pedals), the Pine Mountain’s frame and suspension-corrected fork are both built from no-nonsense chromoly. That’s tried and true durability right there, my friend. Look closely and you’ll notice gussets on both the top tube and down tube. Ol’ Piney is ready for action. Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood …

Marin Pine Mountain DR-2

The 1×10 drivetrain mates a Sunrace 11-42 cassette with a narrow-wide 32-tooth chainring and changes gears via a SRAM X7 derailleur and X5 shifter. So far, so good. Crisp shifting. Nary a dropped chain. With a 380 percent range, I’ve yet to run out of gears on either end of the shifter. When I let ‘er rip, the Shimano BR-M445 hydros have ample power to keep the party in bounds, even if their feel is somewhat “wooden” compared to Shimano’s higher-end offerings. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide …

Marin Pine Mountain DR-1

Look even closer and you’ll spy full rack and bag mounts—just the ticket if you’re looking to take a crack at bikepacking or backroad touring. The Marin house-branded bar, stem, saddle and seatpost work for me. The stock bike comes with aluminum platform pedals, though my demo arrived without them. At less than a grand, the Pine Mountain 1 strikes me as a solid value, considering the frame, fork and parts package. The mettle of your pasture; let us swear / That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not …

Marin Pine Mountain DR-3

My first impression of the handling: well-mannered, with a dash of carvy. Piney likes to be leaned-over in turns, rather than steered with the bars. Don’t be afraid to dip the hip and get your lean on. Those wide tires will oblige and hook up—despite some pretty radical lean angles—even in soft, sandy soil. It takes extra effort to keep those big, traction-y tires turning, but that’s the nature of the breed, I suppose.

That’s all I have to say for now, but keep your eyes peeled on the print version of Dirt Rag for my full review, and be sure to subscribe if you’re not already in the fold. The game’s afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge / Cry “God for Harry, England and Saint George!”

Marin Pine Mountain DR-6

[Ed note: Apologies to William Shakespeare for “re-purposing” a few choice lines spoken by King Henry in The Bard’s play “Henry V.”]



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